ACLS Certification

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    Hi, I am a senior nursing student and was curious if it was better to get ACLS certified through an online website or a hospital? Can you become ACLS certified as a nursing student? I would like to have this completed and on my resume before I apply for jobs. Thanks!!

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  3. 12 Comments...

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    Hospital. You will have a "Mega-Code" test.
    tvccrn likes this.
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    You have to show competency. You can take the didactic portion and test online, then locate a training center (hospital) to test your competency, or you can take the entire course live which will include practice, test and competency.

    Just about anyone is allowed to take ACLS, students included. We require Healthcare Provider BLS card prior to registration. Some people think students should be exposed to this course prior to having experience. I do not. I would not hire a student based solely on the fact they have an ACLS card. So it may or may not enhance your chance of being hired. No knowledge is ever wasted, IMHO
    OCNRN63 likes this.
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    ACLS is not a nursing-specific certification, so you don't need to be nurse or even a nursing student to get it. In fact, anyone can walk in off the street and register for an ACLS class.

    When I was a new grad (and even now), having ACLS certification in hand often impressed interviewers--they said it showed I was motivated. But it alone won't get you a may just help you get noticed a bit more.
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    Be prepared to pay at least $150+ for an ACLS class, however. And be careful about an online certification. Make sure it is through AHA because a lot of hospitals will only accept the AHA ACLS certification. If you plan on doing it online, you will have to complete coursework online and then locate an ACLS instructor for the skills test. You need to be BLS-certified as the ACLS course will cover the BLS survey. Being ACLS-certified does not take place of a BLS certification - you still need both.

    I agree that having ACLS prior to a job is a way to get you noticed, but it won't guarantee you a job. It might be better off waiting if you do not feel like paying the money for the course - most hospitals offer ACLS and other courses for free or little to no cost. And most places require ACLS certification w/in 6 months of your hire date.
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    I would say only do it online for the renewal, not the first time through. I just got done going through it and the practice we had was more beneficial than the actual videos and lectures. Being able to pick the instructors brains and apply it in scenarios was great.
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    An employer will pay you to take the class, versus you paying to spend your time taking it. Also, some employers like mine will make you retake their class anyways. Also, most likely as a student you may not be able to identify the EKG rhythm u less you had a really good instructor/EKG tech class/ or have previous experience. As for it lookin good on a resume, I guess that depends strictly on the hiring manager. If I was interviewing two candidates, I'm going to rely on how well the interviewed not if they have ACLS. But other might feel differently.
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    Unless it is a requirement for employment, I would wait. Some hospitals will pay you to take the class. The hospital I work for pays you while in class, pays for the exam, and gives a yearly bonus for being current. Also for PALS. But, that is just the hospital I work for.
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    as an acls instructor, i'd advise against attempting to certify for the first time on-line. there is so much valuable interaction -- and networking, team building, etc. -- that can go on at those classes! if you don't think to ask a particular question, someone else will, and you'll think to yourself "now why didn't i think to ask that?"

    i'm not sure that an acls certificate on the resume of a new grad is going to mean anything. (except maybe that you have a couple hundred dollars to burn). it takes a certain amount of experience before you're able to consolidate what you've learned in class. bls is valuable, but i can't see how acls is going to influence any hiring decisions -- unless, of course, you met the hiring manager in the acls class.
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    Quote from ObtundedRN
    Also, most likely as a student you may not be able to identify the EKG rhythm u less you had a really good instructor/EKG tech class/ or have previous experience.
    This is true. Having a solid foundation on EKG interpretation is very important for an ACLS course. You won't be taught how to read EKG's during the course and you need to be able to identify rhythms during the skills test. If you have trouble, you might not succeed and will have to repeat it. If you have problems with EKGs, I suggest ECG Workout by Jane Huff RN. It is very informative and has A LOT of practice strips in it. Another good book is ECG Interpretation Made Incredibly Easy! which is also very informative but I find it lacks on practice.

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